Championship Sunday Hype!

Is it me, or did last weekend’s games kind of suck? Both AFC tilts were the football equivalent of squash matches – Patriots/Chargers, in particular, was unwatchably grim and depressing. Then there was Rams/Cowboys, which was close most of the way, sure, but was also weird and disjointed. It didn’t feel like an organically close game, rather, one in which the Rams felt compelled to hold themselves back to make things interesting. Saints/Eagles lived up to the billing, but it was the only game that really did. Oh well. Sometimes the playoffs are awesome, and sometimes they suck.

But enough negativity! We’re here today to get hype for Championship Sunday~! Championship Sunday is the shit, and it makes me happy. It’s the last day of the football season where the games themselves take center stage. The Super Bowl is always plenty of fun in it’s own way, sure, but the game itself tends to be subservient to all the hoopla surrounding it. It’s hard to get too excited about a day that I know is going to involve Maroon 5. The Pro Bowl is shitty and a waste of everyone’s time. Championship Sunday is a full day of high-stakes games. And, while it’s always fun when an underdog sneaks past the Divisional Round, the situation this year, with the two top seeds in each conference playing each other for supremacy, kind of rules. These games are prize fights, and I think both of them are gonna kick ass.

Now, on to the picks! (Last week’s record ATS: 2-2. All lines pulled from this website on 1/18/19 at 8:20 AM EST.)

Saints (-3.5) over Rams

Marcus Peters kind of sucks, doesn’t he? That’s a pretty severe bummer, if you ask me. Peters loves to talk endless amounts of shit, and he’s great at it. But unfortunately, he has a tendency to get roasted in coverage because he was trying too hard to get the interception and not trying at all to cover his receiver. This makes him an easy target for getting picked on by crusty old white dudes who make it their business to blather about playing football “the right way” at any opportunity which presents itself, which tends to be any time a player shows signs of having a personality. Thus, after a game like last week’s, where Peters did uh…not do a great job, these assholes get all up on their high horse to insinuate that perhaps if Peters were more docile, subservient, and expendable, he would be a better player. Given the disgusting state of labor relations in the NFL currently (which I could ramble about all day), it’s extremely disheartening to see the press reinforce these ideas.

But again, poor Marcus Peters does tend to get roasted a lot, and he was very memorably roasted by Michael Thomas last time the Rams played the Saints. In order for the Rams to have a chance, they will have to find a way to cover Thomas effectively. On top of that, the Rams cannot settle for field goals in the same way that they did last weekend. They will need to get touchdowns whenever possible, and they will need to go for it on 4th downs. You would think having Todd Gurley and the resurrected C.J. Anderson makes going for it an easy decision, but given the way the Rams never hesitated to send out the kicking team last week I guess it’s not, huh?

For the Saints, their best bet is turning the game into a shootout. Brees should take lots of shots downfield and try to score early and often. If the offense can get out front early on, then the defense only has to be good enough to slow the Rams down. If the Saints get ahead by 14 points or more at any point, they’re gonna need Jared Goff to mount a comeback on the road, and I just don’t see that happening. I expect the Saints to win by at least a touchdown, and therefore I expect them to cover.

Patriots (+3) over Chiefs

Speaking of bummers, the Chiefs are in a perfect position to beat the Patriots, and yet I cannot in good conscience pick them in this game. The Chiefs are at home and have a recent history of fucking up the Patriots. It’s gonna be super cold and the crowd is going to be rowdy. The Patriots have stunk on the road this year – the only team they beat on the road outside of their division was the Bears. Tom Brady has finally started to look his age when he’s faced with pressure, and the Chiefs’ pass rush is very good. Mahomes is more than good enough to tear the Patriots defense to shreds.

And yet, I cannot bring myself to pick the Chiefs, despite these advantages. First off, it’s the Chiefs. Their legacy of playoff failure is rivaled only by the likes of the Bills and the Vikings. Yes, the Chiefs have memorably fucked up the Patriots a couple of times, but both of those games were in the regular season. Same goes for Andy Reid. You just know that if his team is in the playoffs, he will eventually do something that will cause his team to eat shit. It is written. Also, it gets cold in New England too, so that’s not going to mess up the Patriots much.

This game is going to be incredibly close. The Patriots will definitely cover, and have a decent chance of winning outright. The past couple of decades of Patriots dominance have broken my spirit so thoroughly that I cannot bet against them under any circumstances. Hopefully, those of you watching at home will be too crunk to be bothered by the outcome, as I intend to be. Because really, this is what football is all about – an excuse to get sloppy as fuck on a Sunday.

Enjoy the games, everybody!

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